The purpose of the present study was to explore the perspectives of Iranian male nursing students regarding the role of nursing education in developing a professional identity.Methods:
A qualitative design, based on the content analysis approach, was used to collect the data and analyze the perspectives of 14 Iranian male nursing students who were chosen by using a purposive sampling strategy. After the selection of the participants, semistructured interviews were held in order to collect the data.Results:
During the data analysis, three main themes emerged: “reality–expectation incompatibility”, “being supported by the educational system”, and “nursing image rectification”. The second theme consisted of two categories: “feeling trusted” and “being defended”.Conclusions:
This study will be useful to nurse educators and administrators in relation to what constitutes nursing students' professional identity within the Iranian culture and context and how nursing education can play an effective role in developing their professional identity in order to devise strategies to attract male students to the nursing profession and promote their retention after graduation.